The University of Maryland SGA is bringing back the TerpsVOTE Voter Registration Drive Coalition this year after successful participation from student groups last year. The coalition, which aims to inform and register students for elections, has started recruiting student groups to participate this fall.
The coalition plans on working to register students from any state, not just Maryland residents.
One of the organizations that plans on participating in TerpsVOTE is MaryPIRG, due to the group’s similar focus on public and government service activism.
Junior government and politics major Anna Krapiva wasn’t registered to vote until motivated by flyers around campus. “I feel like the generation of college students is the most impactful because of technology and because of how much more educated we are than the general public,” she said. “I feel like a lot of people don’t necessarily have the means and resources that we have to make a decision on who to vote and a lot of people can’t educate themselves enough about a certain candidate as much as we can. Therefore, we are literally the most impactful people in the U.S. because of technology and the education that we receive.”
College Park city elections take place today. Virginia and New Jersey are holding state governor elections as well.
The College Democrats and College Republicans both plan to re-join TerpsVOTE this semester after participating in previous years.
“I think a lot of young people become apathetic about elections when they don’t get the candidate they feel represents them best. Younger voters feel like most politicians aren’t looking out for their interest and so they think ‘Why bother to vote?’” Steven Clark, President of the University of Maryland’s College Republicans, said.
“We’ve seen in the last few presidential elections that voter turnout among millennials can make a difference,” he said. “I like to tell people that even if you’re not 100% behind a candidate, it’s important to turn out and vote because you lose your right to complain if you don’t make your voice heard in the election.”
TerpsVOTE had major success with online student registration last year and they want to build on that this year.